Written statement to Parliament

Sarah Teather on reforming Early Years

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather confirms plans for a reformed Early Years Foundation Stage.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Sarah Teather

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather today confirmed plans for a reformed Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) that reduces bureaucracy for professionals, provides earlier intervention for children facing difficulties and better prepares young children for learning in school.

The Government today responded to the consultation on the EYFS, and confirmed changes to be introduced from September 2012.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said:

People working in the early years, teachers, parents, and other professionals are supportive of our proposals which slim down the early years foundation stage, focus on children’s healthy development and make sure they are ready to learn when they enter Year 1.

Building on consultation feedback, our changes, including the progress check at age two, will support families to give children the best possible start in life. We want to help young children achieve to the best of their abilities so they are not falling behind before they even reach school.

As well as learning to speak and communicate, young children also need to learn through play how to read and write and use numbers. This is a vital foundation for future success at primary school and beyond.

People working in the early years will get additional guidance and information so they feel confident to deliver the new EYFS. And a summary of the EYFS will be available for parents so they know what their child will be learning and what they should expect from their child’s early years setting.

Dame Clare Tickell published an independent review of the EYFS in March this year. She recommended a slimmed down Early Years Foundation Stage for 0-5-year-olds, reducing the number of early learning goals from 69 to 17 and focusing on three prime areas of learning: communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The Government is implementing Dame Clare’s recommendations for the EYFS.

Further information

Written Ministerial Statement from Children’s Minister Sarah Teather.

The consultation is available in the consultations section of our website.

Government response to EYFS review

DfE media enquiries

Central newsdesk - for journalists 020 7783 8300

Published 20 December 2011